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Trump leaves G7 undecided on gas accord

30 May 2017

President Trump announced on Twitter he will delay a decision on whether the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accords until next week, a move that led leaders of Group of Seven (G7) countries to declare the "not in a position to join the consensus" around the agreement. Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to give a sort of season-finale tone to the crucial decision: "I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!"

Donald Trump's intentions regarding U.S. participation in the Paris climate deal remained unknown on Sunday, as one report cited "confidants" saying the president had made up his mind to pull out while a senior cabinet minister said he was "quite certain the president is wide open on this issue".

The senator said during an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday that it would be an issue for the US if Trump did not reaffirm the country's previous commitment to the accord, made under former president Barack Obama in 2015.

In sharp contrast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the entire climate discussion as "difficult" and "dissatisfying".

While Trump was returning to the United States, the political news website Axios reported that he had said he plans to pull the USA out of the deal.

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French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that sustained commitment to the Paris agreement was "indispensable to the reputation of the United States".

"His views are evolving, and he came here to learn", Cohn said.

The climate accord was the most vivid sign of division between the U.S. and its allies, but it was not the only one: Trump also scolded Germany for its trade practices and lectured North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) members for not adequately supporting the alliance.

His worldwide tour took him to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine, the Vatican, Belgium and Italy.

During his election campaign Mr Trump threatened customs duties in retaliation for Germany's trade surplus with the USA, saying it owed "vast sums of money" to the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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During the campaign Trump repeatedly promised that the USA would withdraw from the agreement if he was elected, but tweeted Saturday that he will make a decision on the matter this week.

"He stands in stark isolation", said Alden Meyer, who has followed climate talks for two decades as director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

There was agreement in some areas, most notably the efforts to confront terrorism, where leaders were galvanized by the deadly attacks in Manchester, Britain just before the start of the G7 talks. "Lots of very important matters under discussion", Trump tweeted between events. Trump had said he would listen to what U.S. partners have to say at the G7 before making a decision on how to proceed.

"I think the bigger risk is that the US comes to be regarded as an uncooperative global actor more generally, such that our soft power is diminished", Wallach said.

On the flight back, a senior White House official told reporters that Trump's first overseas trip as President was "historic" and "unprecedented", according to The Hill magazine.

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Polls suggest Mrs Merkel is on course to be re-elected for a fourth term as German chancellor at elections in September. Schulz said Trump resembled an "authoritarian leader" who wants to "humiliate others".

Trump has previously expressed skepticism about climate change.